Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 47 FEBRUARY 2020 31 FOOTBALL RECRUITING staff — not just one coach — and the intrinsic attractions of Notre Dame trump any one assistant. Part of being the "right fit" at the school is under- standing and accepting this, which is why the class remained intact. "Not one guy recruits here at Notre Dame," said Kelly, referring to a con- stant collaborative effort. "It's not 'your guy.' It's 'our guy.' I recruit them, Coach [Brian] Polian recruits them, we team recruit … Notre Dame recruits to Notre Dame. So no one person is stronger than the university. "For those guys that decide to go to schools based upon one individual, then you're left up to those kinds of decommitments based upon singular relationships. That's never how we have recruited here at Notre Dame, and that's not how we'll ever recruit." 4. Keeping The Cupboard Stocked The 2019 cycle last year was a rarity because it was a full, complete class at virtually every position, including kicker (preferred walk-on Harrison Leonard) and punter (Jay Bramblett). Usually, one or two areas come up short, so schools will compensate for those holes the following cycle. This year, the three areas where the numbers were low with incoming freshmen were offensive line (two), linebacker/rover (zero) and safety (zero). Part of it was that there were more limits on how many scholar- ships to give this season because 24 sophomores and 22 freshmen remain from the last two classes. • As it stands, the Irish will have 15 scholarship offensive linemen in 2020, including incoming freshmen Mike Carmody and Tosh Baker, plus No. 2 center and junior Colin Grun- hard, who has been at least tempo- rarily placed on scholarship. • At linebacker, eight players were signed the previous two cycles. The current sophomores include Bo Bauer, Jack Lamb, Paul Moala (rover) and Shayne Simon, while last year the Irish reeled in four with JD Bertrand, Osita Ekwonu, Jack Kiser (rover) and Marist Liufau. • Although no freshman was signed at safety this year, Pryor — who enrolls in January — has two years of eligibility remaining. He will join Freshman All-American Kyle Hamilton and his classmate Litchfield Ajavon, plus current sophomores Houston Griffith and D.J. Brown, to comprise a nucleus through at least the 2021 season. 5. Proving Results On The Field For all the talk about "Notre Dame sells itself," the reality is results also must be demonstrated on the field. Landing prospects such as Johnson and Tyree are enhanced when over the past three seasons a team has posted a 33-6 record — fifth best among the 65 Power Five schools — and been in the four-team College Football Playoff. "You didn't get in the door if you weren't [33-6]," Kelly admitted. Still, there are plenty of sales that remain, and what Notre Dame will always market to players such as Tyree, who was in advancement placement classes, is the overall value provided by the school. "The reality is that you get in the door, but you've got to sell it," Kelly said. "And I think we did a great job of selling who we are and why it was right for him … all those things lined up. If those things don't line up, he's not buy- ing. So [33-6] only gets you so far. All those other things have to line up, too." The next edition of Blue & Gold Illus- trated will have full bios and features on all 18 freshman newcomers. ✦ Quarterback Drew Pyne, 6-0, 181, New Canaan, Conn., New Canaan H.S.* Running Back Chris Tyree, 5-9½, 179, Chester, Va., Thomas Dale H.S. Wide Receivers Jay Brunelle, 6-1½, 201, Paxton, Mass., Saint John's H.S.* Jordan Johnson, 6-2, 180, St. Louis, De Smet Jesuit H.S. Xavier Watts, 5-11, 185, Omaha, Neb., Burke H.S.* Tight End Kevin Bauman, 6-4, 226, Red Bank, N.J., Catholic H.S. Michael Mayer, 6-5, 234, Independence, Ky., Covington Catholic H.S. Offensive Line Tosh Baker, 6-7, 283, Scottsdale, Ariz., Pinnacle H.S. Michael Carmody 6-6, 292, Mars, Pa., Mars Area H.S. Defensive End Jordan Botelho, 6-2, 229, Honolulu, St. Louis School* Alexander Ehrensberger, 6-6½, 239, Dusseldorf, Germany, Theodor-Fliedner Gymnasium* Rylie Mills, 6-4½, 250, Lake Bluff, Ill., Lake Forest H.S.* Defensive Tackle Aidan Keanaaina, 6-2¾, 302, Englewood, Colo., J.K. Mullen H.S. Linebacker/Rover None because eight were signed in the past two classes Cornerback Landen Bartleson, 5-11½, 181, Harrodsburg, Ky., Boyle County H.S. Ramon Henderson, 6-3, 180, Bakersfield, Calif., Liberty H.S.* Clarence Lewis, 6-0, 180, Edison, N.J., Mater Dei H.S. Caleb Offord, 6-1, 170, Southaven, Miss., Southaven H.S.* Safety None from the 2020 recruiting class, but Ohio State graduate transfer safety Isaiah Pryor (6-2, 202) will enroll in January and has two years of eligibility remaining. Long Snapper Alex Peitsch, 6-1, 205, Ellicott City, Md., St. John's College H.S. * Will enroll in January Position Breakdown Chris Tyree — a four-star running back from Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale who has twice earned the title of Fastest Man at the prestigious The Opening camp — will bring an element of speed the Notre Dame offense has lacked in the past. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2020